A super simple (dump it and forget about it) hearty, and healthy sweet potato and beef stew.
This is not really your typical stew. Which you probably gathered by the pictures and that the focus is on sweet potatoes instead of meat. However, there is still meat in this stew! But instead of being the focus of the stew it really is the perfect complement of the super tender and flavorful sweet potatoes!
My dad is a huge stew guy. He made it all the time for us growing up. He’s super intense about his stews though: like, make it in the Lodge dutch oven (he won’t use any other brands haha!) and cook it over actual coals in our backyard. Although these days he’ll usually cook it in his Lodge dutch oven in the oven. The coals and special outdoor ovens don’t come out as much as they used it.
And although we all (especially me) went crazy for his stew (Growing up, I requested it for my birthday dinners which happened to be in the middle of May 😂), my philosophy with stew cooking is, er, less fancy. I’m happy with 10 minutes prep time and letting it slow cook alll day while I don’t have to keep poking coals and smell like a boy scout after a week long camping trip.
And guys, this stew is really, really great. The kind of meal where you are freaking out excited to have leftovers the next day? Yes, this stew is just that. I never thought I’d say it, but I actually like sweet potatoes over red potatoes in stew. And by like, I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. This is THE stew. ❤️
It’s ultra hearty and such a fun twist on a typical red potato stew. It’s amazing how much the sweet potatoes change the overall flavor.
The prep time is quite nice too — you don’t even need to cook the meat first. It’s literally a dump it and forget it kind of deal. Especially because there isn’t a whole lot of veggie chopping — just sweet potatoes, a celery stalk, and an onion. Which, let’s talk onions…
My husband (you may know this long time blog readers) hates onions. I adore them. I also can’t picture a stew without onions, so I decided to get creative here. I actually just cubed a yellow onion in four large cubes and threw them in the slow cooker. That way the stew benefitted from the delicious flavor of cooking with onions for 8 hours, but there were no onions in the husband’s soup. I just pulled the tender onions apart and enjoyed them in my stew. (If you don’t like huge chunks of onions you could also cut them up after cooking to put in certain bowls.)
So moral to that story — add onion even if you despise onion. You can either throw it out after it’s slow cooked with the ingredients all day OR you can add the onion to the bowls of people that like onions — chopped or leave them in large chunks.
Oh, also, the corn. Weird stew ingredient? I think it may be. But my dad ALWAYS added in corn to his stews and to me, it adds so much. So I never make a stew without adding in some corn 😋.
I’ve also recently made a discovery which is fire-roasted corn that is CANNED. (How have I not discovered it sooner?!) I found it right next to the regular canned corn but it is called “fire-roasted.” It is seriously the newest food love of my life. 🤓🤓🤓 I’ve been adding it to all the things. (Besides my breakfast because I haven’t gotten that crazy. yet.) Anyways, if you happen to see it you should definitely try it out. It’s not something that “makes or breaks” this stew but it is pretty fantastic in it!
- 3 cups (~2 potatoes) medium-sized sweet potatoes chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 small yellow onion
- 8 ounce bag mini carrots
- 1 can (15 ounces) corn I use fire-roasted
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes I use fire-roasted
- 1 pound stew meat cut into 1-inch chunks (I buy it pre-cut)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon each seasoned salt and pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 2 beef boullion cubes
- 1 cup water
- Optional: fresh flat leaf parsley
Grease a slow cooker with non-stick spray. I use a 6-quart crockpot.
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Measure to get a heaping 3 cups and place in the prepared slow cooker.
Add in the chopped celery, chopped onion (I actually just cube the onion in 4 large pieces so I can easily pull them out and then chop and put them in my bowls of stew since the husband hates onion. SO if you hate onion, put them in to get a great flavor and then you can pull it out after it's done cooking! 🙂 )
Add in the bag of carrots, drained can of corn (I buy corn that is fire-roasted and it adds so much flavor! It's right by regular canned corn in the grocery store) and undrained can of diced tomatoes.
Toss together the flour, seasoned salt, and pepper. Toss the cut stew meat (cut in 1 inch cubes if not pre-cut) in the flour mixture until well coated.
Place the coated meat in the slow cooker on top of all the vegetables. You do not need to pre-cook the meat at all.
Add in the bay leaf, minced garlic, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh parsley. (I coarsely chop parsley and pack it in a tablespoon measuring spoon to get that measurement.)
Add in the boullion cubes and the water.
You don't even need to stir it. Just cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or high for 5-7 hours or until the sweet potatoes and vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through. All slow cookers cook at different temperatures. Mine takes about 8 hours on low and I don't typically cook stews on high because I find them to be more flavorful (meat more tender) after slow cooking all day!
When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf.
If you are home, occasionally stir the stew throughout the day.
Stir the ingredients together and slightly mash the tender sweet potatoes in the crockpot. This gives it a chunkier and thicker stew consistency and it's delicious!
If desired top with some fresh parsley.
Here are some more delicious crockpot soup recipes: